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Old 24.07.2013, 06:31
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Re: Best way to avoid high fees for short-term housing?

Sorry have no idea what UMS is & don't know Bern part of Switzerland.

It is usual when renting in Switzerland to pay 3 or 4 months rent to start, ie deposit and month rent up front. It can be difficult to find somewhere, maybe the University can help.
Many people rent somewhere with most things included at higher rate for the first months, (holiday/business apartments rented by day/week/month) whilst they look around. It is common to rent unfurnished in Switzerland.
For 18 months I would not ship furniture back & forth from USA.
Most unfurnished apartments include white goods, & washing machine/dryers are often in communial area. Important to check what access you have to the washing area, as read here sometimes restricted per apartment, but not always.
Furniture, no need to rush out and pay top Dollar /chf rate. Often EFers might buy at IKEA. When EFers leave Switzerland, they will advertise their items here for Sale, look at his site particular at weekends, so you can also buy here and sell here when you leave, check the location or where someone is.
Other site to buy 2nd hand furniture etc is, but you will either need to be able to read German or French or able to translate or get help to do so. You can get some bargains, remember to always check location is Bern. When people buy new furniture etc, often they just want to get rid of their previous items. You can soon learn where to hire the appropriate vehicle to pick items up, either by hour or day. Sometimes, have been lucky that the Ricardo person has vehicle and they have delivered when they know you are close, but don't depend on it.
Look here on EF for man with van in Bern, or if you can not find, ask?

There will be some items you will want to bring with you, perhaps your favourite cooking utensils, as you will be cooking at home more than USA because of the price of eating out in Switzerland is much higher.

Setting up lan line and internet is expensive in Switzerland, monthly running cost without making a call budget chf 75.00 plus the installation cost.

when you arrive and you need immediate mobile (cell) phone, suggest you initially get a 'pay as you go', until you decide which network you wish to sign up with longer term. Look in either Aldi or Coop shops, they both have them for around CHF 50 for the handset including the pay as you go sim, this will get you started to have a local phone number & later when you get a new handset when you sign up with a provider for a year, then you have the PAYG spare phone for a visitor.

You can not buy brown sugar here, so you might want to bring some over!

good luck
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